Lance Armstrong says he doesn't deserve a lifetime ban from sport

Last Updated: 19/01/13 1:41pm

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Lance Armstrong: Has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs

Lance Armstrong: Has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs

Lance Armstrong says he wants to return to competitive sport and is hopeful that his lifetime ban will be lifted one day.

And the former cyclist told talk show host Oprah Winfrey in the second part of their eagerly-awaited interview that he came clean on his doping past because of concerns about his family.

The 41-year-old was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from sport for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency last year when they uncovered evidence of systematic doping by the Texan.

In the first part of his interview with Winfrey, Armstrong admitted for the first time that he had used performance-enhancing drugs and, in the second part, he said he hoped the confession might allow him to compete in triathlons or marathons at some point.

"Hell yes, I'm a competitor," said Armstrong, when asked if he wanted to compete again. "Frankly, this might not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it (to be able to compete again).

"I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure that I deserve a death penalty (a life ban)."

Discussing the reasons behind his confession, he said: "The biggest hope and intention was the well-being of my children.

"The older kids need to not be living with this issue in their lives. That isn't fair for me to have done to them. And I did it."

Armstrong broke down somewhat when he described saying to his 13-year-old son Luke: "Don't defend me anymore."

He added: "When this all really started, I saw my son defending me and saying, 'That's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true.'

"Yes, I'm a competitor. I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure that I deserve a death penalty (a life ban)."
Lance Armstrong on his hopes to compete again

"That's when I knew I had to tell him. He'd never asked me. He'd never said, 'Dad, is this true?' He trusted me.

"I feel humbled. I feel ashamed. This is ugly stuff. I'm deeply sorry for what I did. I can say that thousands of times and it may never be enough to get back."

A cancer survivor, Armstrong said one of his worst moments came when he had to step down from the board of Livestrong, the cancer charity he founded.

"I wouldn't at all say I was forced out," said Armstrong. "But I was aware of the pressure. It was the best thing for the organization but it hurt like hell. That was the lowest."

However, he denied USADA chief Travis Tygart's claim in an interview last week that someone in Armstrong's camp offered the agency a $250,000 donation, in what could be seen as an attempt at a pay-off.

"That's not true," Armstrong said, when pressed on the point by Winfrey.

"I had no knowledge of that but I've asked around. I think the claim was

250,000 dollars. That's a lot of money. I would know. That is not true."

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